I have 3 nieces. Two are twins aged 4 and one is aged 2. My sister is home schooling them and she has started with so many activities and lessons for them in the house.

Problem falls when she takes them to a weekly playschool. It's one of those play group schemes where the parent can stay in the building and talk with our mums/dads and the girls get to run around and play with others.

The girls however are very attached to their mother. They lack confidence in running around or taking initiative to play with toys; I can't even go for a toilet break or run to the store to get groceries without them getting anxious and crying.

Generally speaking, they're reserved girls when not with people they know. But they have been going to this centre for over a year now and I just wanted some tips and directions on what activities I can do so they can start exploring!

  • Could you clarify the situation a little? You talked about them having an attachment to their mother, but they start crying when you take a restroom break or go to the store. Do you frequently watch them in the absence of their mother?
    – Mike Vonn
    Jun 29, 2015 at 16:03
  • @Mauser - No, she has told me this herself. She is seeking advice. If she leaves the kids for a moment they get worried; they never respond to strangers and are extremely shy. Even around strange women folk they would just stay close and hold on to the mum; when family and friends come over and they dont know them. Jun 30, 2015 at 7:18

2 Answers 2


Most likely they just need time. My daughter was very much like that at age four, to the point where she wouldn't speak a single word to anyone the entire time. She is now five and a half, and you would never be able to tell she used to be that way. Some kids just take a little longer than others, especially when they spend most of their time with their families.


It's not unusual behaviour for younger children. My 3 year old sometimes cries when she's dropped off at play-school, but is generally fine a while afterwards.

Children often cry when the parent leaves, but usually get over it pretty quickly. I would suggest leaving, then watching through a crack in the door for 5 minutes or so to see how they get on.

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